Letters to the Chief

October 6, 2017

I want to take this time to relay to you the fine outstanding officer your department has in Officer Isiah Young.  We are from SC and had a little incident involving our truck; we went to the police department where our report was taken by Officer Young.  Pure professionalism best describes his demeanor during our interaction with him on this matter.  Kudo's to your department for having an asset like Officer Young.

Brian K. Boland


September 27, 2017

Just a little note to thank you so much for allowing your officers to assist with the self defense class that took place at Mud Creek Baptist Church.  I know that I feel much more comfortable now than I did before should I need to defend myself against anyone trying to attack me.  Thanks again for allowing this valuable community service.



September 27, 2017

Officer Gardin,

I just wanted to take a moment to to thank you for your quick response yesterday.  Your professionalism and effective communication during a stressful incident were very much appreciated.  Thank you also for agreeing to work the extra shift on your day off to ensure our safety!  You are appreciated.


July 24, 2017


I just wanted to let you know how much i appreciated my treatment by one of yours-on 6/21/17, after work- I went to my car parked at Blue Ridge Mall only to find someone had hit me and not left a note.

I called to report it and Officer Tony Valdibia responded.  He not only apologized for keeping me waiting, but was very considerate.  Naturally, I was upset and incredulous, never having had that happen to me before, so it was especially nice that he was so 'user friendly'!  My commendation to him and you.

With sincere thanks,

Diane Herbert



July 8, 2017

Chief Blake,

On Saturday 7/8 at approximately 4:30 PM I witnessed Officer Gunnin performing a truly professional and heroic act.  A severe thunderstorm had begun about a half hour before with hail, LIGHTNING and rain of Biblical proportions.

As I was traveling west on 7th Ave just down from Two Guys there was a flash flood. I have lived through 3 hurricanes in my (long) life and I have never experienced water rising that quickly!!  Having worked as an RN at one time in a major metro ER/OR nothing much horrifies me...but this was frightening.

A lady and her family in a white station wagon were being swept away....the car was totally afloat. 

Officer Gunnin all alone pushed the car into a wedge of poles to secure it and helped the lady out.  He then carried a child to safety.  He was up past his hips in water and could have been swept away himself....much less being struck by all the lightning and hail.

Well done Officer Gunnin. 

Please give him my appreciation.


Jacquelyn Ehrlich


Wolf Pen 1 Homeowners Association




June 28, 2017

Dear Chief Blake,

My husband and I want to thank you and your department for all your efforts to help find our son on June 15, 2017.  While that evening was truly a dark time for us, we realized when we arrived that absolutely everything was being done to find our son.  We are truly grateful.

He seems unaffected by his solo walk through the Pisgah National Forest.  He is happy.

We have, however, reinforced with him the necessity to stay with your group no matter what.  We also talked about the danger of some of the waters he came upon, although he intuitively knew the river was "going way too fast" to get in.

Please share our thanks and gratitude with the others members of your department.  

Thank you again for all of your efforts and support.






June 19, 2017

Chief Blake,

I wanted to take a few moments to thank you and Hendersonville Police Dept. for sending K-9 Officers with bloodhounds to assist us with searching for a missing autistic youngster last Thursday evening in the Turkey Pen section of Transylvania/Henderson County.

Due to the circumstances, we felt that every resource that we could get to the scene quickly would better the chances to have a positive outcome. The child was found, unharmed, and reunited with his parents after several hours of intensive searching by air, ground, and water.

Your K-9 unit was on scene with us without delay, and the officers went right to work, obtaining scent articles and then getting onto the adjoining trails.  This was my first experience on an incident that tracking K-9's were used, and I was very impressed with the operation.

Please pass along to your entire department my appreciation for the quick response and strong teamwork.  You and your department is to be commended for going above and beyond with assistance such as this.


Donnie Kilpatrick, Fire Chief

North Transylvania Fire Rescue



June 16, 2017

Dear Chief Blake:

Because of a continuing problem with a subject who ignored repeated warnings about allowing a dog to be outside off leash, one of our Board members at Blue Ridge Villas called HPD to learn a little about what might happen if an officer came out to speak with the subject about the situation which was the next step that the Board anticipated taking.  At that time, Sergeant Kenneth Hipps came out to the residence, and was very informative.  I contacted HPD today where I spoke with Ms. Castle, who was quite helpful.  Neither Sergeant Hipps nor Jimmie Case (who had helped in a previous instance) was available to meet with our Board members today, but she arranged for Lieutenant Todd Letterman to meet with us at 11 a.m. today, and he was marvelous!

After he answered all of our questions and informed us of data we need to know, he visited the subject in question. We are very grateful to all of your staff members who have helped us.  They are extremely well trained, and very compassionate and caring.  How fortunate we are to have such a fine Police force in Hendersonville.  We have lived here for 27 years and are very appreciative for HPD.

Leah T. Ryel




April 25, 2017

Chief Blake:

I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I appreciate the awesome officers and support staff that is under your leadership. While I have not worked closely with you on a one-on-one basis, I have had almost daily contact with the Hendersonville Police Department in my position of DA Legal Assistant at the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office.  I am taking an early retirement from State employment and I will miss the fine individuals that work for the Hendersonville Police Department.

I know firsthand how frustrating it can be dealing with the DA’s office and the court system but your team has always responded with positive, “can-do” attitude.  Assistant Police Chief Doug Jones and Captain Bruce Simonds have always been so helpful often going above what their position calls for.  Since I have dealt more with the felony cases, much of my interaction most recently has been with the detectives. They all (Chris LeRoy, Bruce Darrah, Kyle Thiel, Nathan Smith, Brandon McGaha, Trae Laws and Rich Olsen-back in patrol now) do great investigations, produce thorough reports, and are quick to respond to requests from the DA’s office for additional information, clarifications, and aid in finding witnesses. Often I have been that middle man in contact with these detectives or officers with requests being made from the assistant district attorneys.  Kathe Ingram and Susan Castle also fall into the categories of just being quick and professional to respond to requests; just wonderful people to work with.  All these fine individuals have made my work world much easier as they have been so great and professional in their positions.

I do have to send a special “shout-out” to Captain Simonds as he is the one who got a lot of calls from me.  I don’t know how he can so quickly produce whatever is needed whether it is a report, contact info for a witness, a video for a report, or getting us in touch with an officer.  He has to be part magician and he certainly has gone out of his way to quickly accommodate whatever I was asking for.  I truly appreciate him.

I hope you will share my words with your officers and staff.  They are not just professional in the positions they hold but just remarkable people on an individual basis.  I wish you and your team the best.


Lisa Buckner



April 25, 2017

Hi Chief Blake

My name is Matthew Mclean.  I am the general manager at Cascades Mountain Resort, I wanted to thank your officers for all their hard work they do.  Every time we have needed your department they have responded to us quickly and professionally.  Also I have noticed they patrol our hotel on a regular basis which we appreciate . Once again I just wanted to thank you guys for the job you do in our area.





March 20, 2017

Chief Blake,

I was in an accident yesterday in Hendersonville. It was a terrible experience, made bearable by some of the kindest, most compassionate and professional police officers I have ever met. 

I have already thanked Officer Underwood. But there were other officers at the scene who took the time to communicate with me as he did his investigation. 

One of the officers helped me get towing secured as well as calling Enterprise to send someone to pick us up. This officer's genuine concern for me and my passengers was so uplifting, I cannot express my gratitude. I wish I knew his name so that I could thank him personally.

As I said, your officers were professional and organized when they arrived at the scene. 

We ask so much of police officers. It is a delicate balance to come into a scene like that and take charge without demoralizing; to gather information without judging; to be strong and steady, yet tender and kind; to manage crisis and still communicate. Your officers did all of that yesterday. I hope you will tell them how grateful I am for their service.


Jill Wilson



March 9, 2017

Dear Chief Blake,

Late in 2016 Officer Peter Laite and Attorney Ron Justice conducted a fingerprinting class for my grandson's Boy Scout Troop, number 601.  Over 20 Scouts received their merit badge thanks to the efforts of these two men.  A few weeks ago Officer Laite and Sergeant Case did a K-9 demonstration for the Scouts.  It was a great success.  Thanks again for the cooperation we have from the Hendersonville Police Department to make these things happen.  I'd like to thank Ron Justice, Officer Peter Laite, Sergeant Jimmy Case and Captain Bruce Simonds.

Dave Johnson - Adult Volunteer with Boy Scout Troop 601 of Hendersonville North Carolina


December 22, 2016

Dear Lt. Vesely,

Thank you so much for the incredible day you provided for our students, "Shop with a Cop."  I cannot tell you how excited our students were and what a wonderful day they had.  My students have been asking when they will see their officer again!  

I was so impressed with how well you organized the event.  The children had plenty to do that interested them, they were certainly well supervised, and the officers and first responders were so kind and attentive to our children.  This is certainly a day our five will remember as a highlight of their childhood!

Again, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity for our students!


Gloria J Anderson

Counselor, Upward Elementary School


December 14, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

I am writing to express my appreciation for the services Pete Laite provided in teaching a Fingerprinting Merit Badge class for the Scouts of Boy Scout Troop 601.  Officer Laite displayed great knowledge and professionalism as he led more than fifteen Scouts through the practical application of fingerprinting techniques.

Officer Laite's articulate and insightful presentation of the material allowed Scouts of varying ages to understand what he was teaching and to perform the practical skills.  His demeanor was the subject of several positive comments by parents present at the meeting.

Please pass on my sincere thanks to Officer Laite for his assistance.


Ronald e. Justice, Jr.


December 8, 2016

Dear Chief Herbert Blake,

I am writing to commend Sergeant Brandon McGaha.

This Hendersonville lawman traveled to Quito, Ecuador during the time period of September 9th-18th, 2016.  He was responsible for providing high quality tactical instruction to 51 members of the Ecuadorian special operations group (Grupo de Operaciones Especiales-GOE). Included in this group of 51 SWAT officers were four Panamanian police special operations officers, who were participating in our course as part of a long-term cooperative training mission.

This Hendersonville officer paid for some of the trip out of his own pocket, and also utilized his personal vacation time from work.  The level of professionalism, quality of instruction and the generosity displayed by Sergeant McGaha was remarkable.  He is certainly a credit to his department as well as to the community in which he serves.

Although the tactical training he provided will surely enhance the safety of the Ecuadorian & Panamanian officers, there is no dollar amount that can be placed on the lessons and examples that Sergeant McGaha provided by his integrity, family commitment and dedication to his faith.  Because of his sacrifice and compassion for the physical and spiritual needs of the law enforcement community, God has used this Hendersonville officer in a remarkable way to impact the lives of his Latin American brothers and sisters in blue.  I am 100% confident that he is a valuable asset to the Hendersonville Police Department.

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe as you serve and protect your community.


Ryan Rought

Director, TACTICA Ministries


December 8, 2016

The Hendersonville Housing Authority would like to recognize our officers on jobs well done.  We are very satisfied with the job that Kyle Nix and Eric Larowe provide to our communities and their residents.  They never hesitate to aid our residents with tasks other than criminal or civil issues, such as gas leak concerns, lock outs and other security questions they may have.  With the criminal aspect, they are very detail oriented and provide HHA with best evidence to aid in our court proceedings. 

We are fortunate to be involved with such an outstanding organization as the Hendersonville Police Department.

Connie Stewart

Hendersonville Housing Authority

Assistant Director/Housing Manager


December 6, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

My grandson, Chris Fleming, is an active member of Boy Scout Troop 601 located here in Hendersonville.  Last Tuesday we conducted a Fingerprinting Merit Badge class.  Approximately 20 boys completed the class and will receive their merit badge.  I was able to arrange the class through the help and cooperation of Captain Simonds.  The class was taught by Attorney Ron Justice and officer Pete Laite.  They did an excellent job.

My thanks go out your very capable officers.

Thanks - Dave Johnson



November 2, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

Yesterday my car became disabled near the intersection of Kanuga and State.

I contacted AAA and was advised it would be 90 minutes before I would receive assistance.  During that time seven folks stopped and offered assistance. I found that unusual, but that is not the reason for writing.

Near the end of my wait Lieutenant Todd Letterman stopped and took charge of the situation.  Through his efforts the tow truck was located and directed to my vehicle. Once my vehicle left the scene, Lieutenant Letterman drove me home.

During all the time I was with Lieutenant Letterman he was most polite and helpful.  He is not only an asset to your department, but to the community as whole.  It was a most rewarding experience for me.


Donald K. Tichenor




October 21, 2016

Dear Chief Blake, 

On October 19, at the main branch of the Henderson County Public Library, Officers Jon Wing and Michelle Hoyle gave a terrific presentation to our community (Blue Ridge  Villas), about the Neighborhood Watch Program. At that time, they also included wonderful information about scams and safety.

We very much appreciate the incredible staff at the Hendersonville Police Department! It's a shame that more of our residents were not present for the marvelous information that was given by Officers Wing and Hoyle. Unfortunately, some folks were not available for the event, and others forgot to check their calendars. 

Keep up the great work! You and your officers are obviously the best in the country. 


Leah Ryel, President

Blue Ridge Villas Homeowners Association

September 27, 2016

Dear Chief Blake:

This is just a letter to let you and your department know how much you are appreciated no matter how big or small the issue is.

On Friday, I noticed the dashboard of my car showing all four tires on had a different amount of pressure in each one.  I happened to be doing by the Speedway station on Spartanburg and I thought there was an air pump in there so I stopped to use it.  Well, I was looking for the "old fashion" air pump. Wow, was I surprised, first by the fact that I had to pay for air and secondly, I had no clue as to how to apply the air.  I mentioned this to the lady at the counter.  She said, go outside there is a police man out there who will help you.  I said i would not bother him for something insignificant.  She said, just go out, he will help you.  So, I did as I was told.

I went up to the fine young officer out there who was pumping gas in the squad car.  Explained my dilemma and he explained to me it was not really a problem and was probably due to the heat build up in the tire iteself due to temp changes.  He said keep a check on it because he did not think there was a problem as he also noticed a change in his own tire pressure.  He was right, the problem has adjusted itself.

This letter is not to inform you of my tire pressure but to pay compliment to the Officer whose name i neglected to notice.  He showed interest and listened to my concern and if necessary, I believed he would have solved my problem.

This occured at about 4:00 p.m. on Friday.  There were 2 policemen, one was the fine young man i spoke to (light haired) and the other had salt/pepper dark hair.

I am the first to be critical when something does not please me and I feel it only fair to compliment when someone does the right thing.  Our officers deserve more praise than they get.  We are very fortunate to have some very fine men in the Police Department.  Thank you!  We all know, currently, police all over the country and are being treated terribly and deserve more credit and appreciation than they get.

I come from a long line of policemen.  My grandfather, dad and brother were all members of the NYPD.

Keep up the good job.


Joan E. Kinney

September 16, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the assistance of several of your staff at a recent special event here in Asheville.  The visit of Presidential Candidate Donald Trump required significant planning and professional execution in order to successfully host the event at the U.S. Cellular Center.  The details available during the planning phase were limited and changing.  Once we realized the number of positions required to execute the plan, it was immediately apparent that our partner agencies could provide vital support.

Thank you for providing this invaluable support and sparing these officers and supervisor.  Their contribution was noticeable, and highly regarded.  Despite some very challenging circumstances with the crowds and protestors, the Hendersonville Police Department officers on site were the epitome of professionalism.

Please share our regards and appreciation for Lieutenant Mike Vesely, Sergeant Rich Olsen, Sergeant Jimmy Case, Officer Alan Bonanno, Officer Matt Capps and Detective Chris Leroy.  Chris Leroy was not on site that day, but provided much needed assistance by attending the planning meeting and organizing officers from your agency to assist.


Captain Stony Gonce

Ashebille Police Department

Criminal Investigations and Operations Support Commander

September 16, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Lieutenant Mike Vesely in the planning and execution of the Donald Trump campaign visit operation on Monday September 12, 2016.  As you know, dignitary protection visits are rather challenging to plan for and even more difficult to execute because the details are slow to come in and often change on the fly.

On the day of the event, Lieutenant Vesely proved to be very efficient in organizing the officers and getting them deployed to their assigned posts.  His contribution to the success of the event was readily apparent.  His leadership and management skills were complemented by his professional demeanor.  We are grateful for his service and contribution to the City of Asheville.  Thank you for allowing him to be a part of our team for this project.


Captain Stony Gonce

Asheville Police Department

Criminal Investigations and Operations Support Commander

August 26, 2016

I want you to know how much I appreciate Detective Bruce Darrah and all of The Hendersonville Police Dept. that searched for and found some of my stolen camera equipment.

In April of this year, I was visiting my parents in Hendersonville.  While I was there my camera bag full of SD camera chips and equipment was stolen from in front of Mast General.

I was incredibly upset because besides losing 2 expensive cameras and a camcorder (and all the accessories that went with them)I also lost numerous SD cards that were filled with my photo memories.  Those SD chips had family functions, etc. on them.  Memories I will never be able to get back.  That is still heartbreaking to me.

Detective Darrah was very kind to me and I greatly appreciated that. While I know my loss was minor in comparison to what your officer normally deal with, Detective Darrah let me know he placed high importance on my theft.

I was able to provide Detective Darrah with serial numbers for my cameras and he informed me of the regulations in place on pawn shops to disclose items that they take in.  That was encouraging.  Time passed on.  I didn’t hold much hope for recovering my cameras.

Just a few weeks ago, Detective Darrah called me to say that 2 of my cameras had been recovered from a Pawn Shop in Asheville.  While my camcorder wasn’t recovered, my other 2 cameras were.  Unfortunately, none of my SD cards with my photos were recovered.

I wanted you to know how grateful I am to have my property back and how much I appreciate Detective Darrah for his kindness and hard work!

Please thank Detective Darrah and all of the officers that worked to find my cameras.


Lori Robinson

August 11, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

This is a note to sincerely thank you for taking time out to attend the planning meeting on Satuday, July 23, at the First Congregational Church. Your very presence was heartening, and your comments strengthening and supportive.

The process of planning an event here in Hendersonville to encourage meaningful dialog among diverse people continues.

We will be sure to notify you when an event is set!


Linda Prichard

Task Force Chair

August 9, 2016

Hi Chief Blake,

I wanted to compliment you on your fantastic letter to our community in the BRN paper. You are a class act! It is really nice to have a Police Chief connected to the community and proud of their team and their policing. I have always heard positive commentary about Hendersonville Police Officers. Our Volunteers who have responded in Hendersonville say things like "kind", "compassionate", "professional", "not in a rush to leave the scene". It is obvious your teams embrace your same values.

You are leading in a most difficult time in history, your job is tremendous. Thank you for being the calm in the storm that is plaguing our Nation. Even places as close as Buncombe/Asheville are experiencing community unrest. I am grateful to be a (fairly) new resident of Hendersonville...my husband and I moved here back in September of last year after being in South Asheville for more than a decade.

Thank you for your service. Thank you for your calm and cool approach and for your leadership. You are admired by many.

With warm regards,

Rebecca M. Croft, BSW
Crisis Team Manager
Trauma Intervention Program of WNC

July 29, 2016

Dear Chief, once again, I am writing to thank you and your staff, for the great work you do to ensure our, (we,the residents of our town),...safety and security!! We all watched with great concern, and interest, as you're Detective, uniformed, male officer, and uniformed female/canine officer, investigated our complaint; regarding the camper/drug/prostitution/complaint we had.  It is with a great respect and admiration, that I, (representing all our neighborhood residents), extend our gratitude to you, and your officers, for the help you provided to us!  Once you're Officers left our neighborhood, with two subjects in custody, all our immediate neighbors walked into the street, clapping, in applause for having our neighborhood back!!  I met with those individuals, who were thanking me personnally, and I explained to them that when they all came forward with their individual information regarding the events taking place, it made it very easy to supply you and your staff with the facts they needed to do their job; and it empowered you to give us peace again in our community!  Once again, the professionalism of your staff was amazing, and we cannot find the words to thank you all enough.

We hope your Officers will notice the power poles all in front of the school board, are decorated with "THE THIN BLUE LINE", IN THEIR HONOR.

Sir, it truly is a comforting, secure feeling to know you have but simply to report the facts, and let Law Enforcement have an opportunity to help you.  Our overwhelming gratitude is truly hard to explain.

Tony Ingle

July 15, 2016

Dear Officer Laite and Officer Ramackers, 

My friends and I were in your lovely town on June 18 for a weekend retreat at the Echo Inn. We got lost downtown with poor directions given to us. We found the police station to get better directions. Instead of directions, we received police escorts to the Echo Inn. I want to thank both Officer Laite and Officer Ramackers (Laurel Park Police) for your patience and kindness for helping us. My friends and I will return to Hendersonville again thanks to both officers. 

Our law enforcement officers do not receive the thanks you deserve for your service to the public. I thank you for service to the public. I thank you for helping us recently. May Gob bless you and protect you daily as you serve. 

With gratitude, 

Margaret McElveen

Columbia, SC

July 15, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

We want to thank you and the Police Department for doing a wonderful job. We also want to thank Jennifer Drake and Colby Alman for coming to West Hendersonville Baptist Church on June 25. They did an awesome job of telling about domestic violence and how it impacts our community. We want to say thank you to each of you for your dedication and service in our community. We appreciate you all and pray for you daily.

God bless,

Pastor Tracy Fletcher

July 11, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

I had a serious auto accident late yesterday afternoon near downtown Hendersonville. Someone broadsided my car as I was driving through an intersection. A police officer named Jon Wing arrived at the scene within minutes.

He was certainly professional and efficient in his gathering of the needed information about the accident. But more importantly, he was also thoughtful, courteous, and kind in his dealings with me. I’m nearly 80 years old and had never had a serious accident before; I was pretty shaken up. I had left my cell phone at home, and so he dialed my home number on his phone for me to notify my family what had happened. Unfortunately, they were not home at the time.

At first, I didn’t think I needed an medical care but I became more unsettled as we waited in the heat for the tow truck to haul away my car. So he called the EMS people back (they were on the scene earlier) to have me thoroughly checked out. I chose not to go to the ER, but I had no way of getting back home which was several miles from the scene. He offered to take me home because I was unable to get in touch with my family. And he drove me to my doorstep. His relaxed and pleasant demeanor on the drive helped me catch my breath and calm my nerves.

People too often complain about police officers. I’m writing to praise the service and treatment I received from Officer Wing. Please relay my thanks to him again.


Norbert Artzt
106 Prestwick Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28791

July 11, 2016

To: Chief of Police, Hendersonville, P.D.

From: Tony Ingle

Date: June 27, 2016

Subject: Thank you to Officer Vance, and his plain clothes partner, (sorry, name unknown)

Sir, weekend before last I had called, and discussed some trouble we are having in our neighborhood, involving neighbors on 3rd Ave, shooting very loud fireworks, small caliber handgun fire, and trespassing through our property by drunks who were attending parties by those same neighbors.

Officer Vance asked if I would like for him to “talk” to the people, and I explained that after repeated calls to your communications center over a 2-3 week period, without results, and the continuing fireworks going off every evening, I doubted it would help. (Our 4 elderly residents called me repeatedly, thinking it might be shooting, as the news has been full of mass shootings lately,) and although I tried to reassure them that it was fireworks, they were still afraid. Officer Vance and his partner said that they would increase patrols around here, (which was done, and noticed), and whether they did talk to the people, or increased patrols through the Library and School Boards parking lot helped, it sure has worked!

We are very grateful for the peace and quiet, even though we are approaching the 4th of July, and aware that will be an active night. Thanks again to you and your Officer.

Sincerely and Respectfully yours,

Tony Ingle

June 20, 2016

To: Chief Herbert, Chief of Police

Hendersonville, NC Police Department

Dear Chief Blake,

                This letter is intended to thank you, your officers, and dispatchers for their response to a very scary incident involving my daughter and granddaughter. The professionalism and calm demeanor, I believe, was instrumental in a successful conclusion where my granddaughter was safely returned to her mother, my daughter.

                Briefly, on May 22, my granddaughter was snatched from my daughter’s custody by her estranged boyfriend and eventually her to an unknown location and refused to disclose the condition and location of the child’s whereabouts. A call to HPD brought Officer Matt Capps to our assistance. Officer Capps attempted to calm the former boyfriend down by telephone, asking for his location, and encouraged him to return the child. This officer worked very hard to convince the boyfriend but was not successful due to the uncooperative attitude of the boyfriend. Although unsuccessful Officer Capp’s professionalism and efforts did serve to help my daughter and I know what potential recourse we had and a promise of the assistance of the HPD as events occur. I appreciated Officer Capp’s efforts and he should be commended.

                In the intervening two days and prior to this latest event, the former boyfriend called and threatened the child’s mother by stating he would take the eight month old child out of North Carolina and disappear forever, depriving the child of her mother. My daughter then obtained an Ex-parte order, which after some time and effort was served upon him. During this time he continuously attempted to extort some sort of custody agreement, which contained some ridiculous and unacceptable demands. In any case, on May 25, my daughter received a phone call from her estranged boyfriend saying that he had the child and intended to kill the child himself if she did not bow to his demands. Due to this fellow’s mental state, she and I had no doubt that he might carry out this threat to harm her child and himself. A call to HPD was met by a very professional dispatcher who gathered information and sent your officers to my daughter’s aid. Unfortunately, I did not obtain the officer’s names but do know their badge numbers to be 176, 161, and 175. When your officers arrived, at about 5:30 PM, they gathered information and initiated efforts to contact the estranged boyfriend. After some time your officers were able to contact him by telephone in order to calm the situation and convince fellow not to injure the child and to bring the child to the Henderson County Sheriffs’ Office where she could be reunited with her mother. Your officers stayed with my daughter from the time she called until the child was safely in her arms at about 7:00 PM that evening. I truly believe the professionalism, calm demeanor, and efforts of your officers and dispatchers is why my granddaughter was returned safely to her mother.

                Please let your officers and staff know they are much appreciated and I thank them for what they were able to accomplish. Thank you.


Kim Clay

June 3, 2016

Dear Chief Blake:

My wife and I are visitors to the area and have been for nearly 30 years.  We are from south Florida and thoroughly enjoy being in N.C. each summer.

On Tuesday, May 31st, I had lunch at the Mountain Deli alone and enjoyed reading a book on my cell phone.  I left to go home (Riverbend RV Resort, Lake Toxaway) and realized about 15 miles away from Hendersonville that my cell phone was not in the belt holster.  Needless to say, I was not very happy.  However, I did continue home as there was rain in front of me and I really didn't think that trying to back track would be productive.  On arriving home, I used my wife's phone to locate mine (app:  360) and it came up essentially close to the Deli, but did not appear to be inside.

Knowing that "To Protect and to Serve" is a motto for many police departments, I called the non-ER number and talked with Amber Glisson.  She was attentive, charming, and very professional.  My conversation with Amber was a true pleasure.  She offered to send a member of the department to try to find the phone. Actually, I talked with her a few times because I thought of things that might be helpful and called to pass them on.  The phone was found late in the afternoon.  I went to the department to pick up the phone this morning.  Kathe (evidence tech) helped me retrieve the phone from Evidence and, at my request, provided me with your address and Amber's last name.

While signing the incident report for Kathe, I noted that there was a bunch of folks involved in the incident, Z016-12662 (please look at the incident report).  I was more than impressed with the effort on my behalf.  I was also very impressed with the way that I was treated by all of the folks with whom I interacted.

I am a retired college professor and have been the chair of the Physics and Chemistry Department (10+ years).  I would be proud to have your staff as mine!!!

Would you kindly pass on my sincere "thank you" to all who were involved?

With great pleasure,

Peter J. Krieger, EdD
Professor Emeritus

June 1, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

We would like to take this opportunity to commend two of your officers, Officer Robert Underwood and Officer Marcus Vance.  When my husband and I returned to our Jeep after walking the beautiful Oklawaha Greenway, we realized that we had locked both sets of our keys inside the Jeep.  With no where else to turn, we dialed 911 and inquired if any law enforcement still helped with keys locked in vehicles.  The dispatchers were so polite and immediately told us that the Hendersonville Police Department could help us.  Within minutes, two officers were with us at the Greenway.  Both of the officers displayed the utmost professionalism and were so kind to us two embarrassed senior citizens.  They quickly went to work and got into our Jeep so we could be on our way.

We have only lived in Hendersonville for two years and feel so blessed to have such fine law enforcement officers here in this lovely city.  Please know that we pray for the safety of all your officers.

We are both retired from the Ohio Sate Highway Patrol, not as sworn officers but civilian employees.  We had promised both officers OSHP patches, but will have to wait until we get back to Ohio later in June to get them.  Meanwhile, we are enclosing three keychains.  One for each officer, and one for you, Chief, for helping produce such fine officers.

Thank you again.

With God's Peace and Blessings,

Dean & Jennifer Gompf

May 26, 2016

Chief Blake, 

Your detectives Laws and Olsen did such a wonderful job presenting to our volunteer group about drugs that we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you allowing them the time to present. As a team, these two detectives gave us a really good idea of what we are dealing with in our families. 

Thank you, 

Jennifer Pittman

Gal Program Supervisor 

May 25, 2016

Dear Chief Blake,

My sincere thank you to HPD's Detective Trae Laws and Rich Olsen for the outstanding class they presented to our Henderson County Guardians ad Litem. As Guardians we are often tasked with visiting in the home of a biological parents who has an issue with or has been, at one time with felonies related to drug use and their children have been removed from their biological families and placed in foster care. The knowledge that these detectives left us with will allow us to be more able to identify drugs, illegal and prescription when we are making our visits to these homes. Detective Laws and Olsen gave us an outstanding presentation and answered many questions that so many of our guardians had. Being knowledgeable about what drugs look like, paraphernalia, and the physical effects on a drug user were all important things for us to know. In making our reports to the court regarding the safety of our children is paramount in our own investigation and we so appreciate the expert attention with which Trae and Rich presented us. We came away with a much clearer and better perspective on problems with drug abuse in Henderson County. Please pass on my heart felt thanks to both detectives.

Most Sincerely, Sara Arell 

April 10, 2016

Chief Blake, 

I would like to extend my appreciation for sending Officer Robert Underwood to our meeting on April 4, 2016. Our organization, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) showed a movie at the Hendersonville Library about a hate crime that occurred in Massachusetts and we requested that your department send an officer to answer any questions the audience might have. 

Officer Underwood answered multiple questions about hate crimes, mass shootings, acts of violence, and the police relationship with the LGBTQ community. He was erudite and knowledgeable, and was able to answer every question placed to him. 

His presence and demeanor impressed our audience and we were very happy that he was there to answer questions. 

Once again, thank you for making Officer Underwood available for the program. He was an excellent ambassador for your department. 

Flat Rock/ Hendersonville Chapter  PFLAG

February 9, 2016


Chief Blake,


I am writing to compliment the work of Rich Olsen in the bank robbery trial of St. v. Layton Waters.  Waters robbed the Etowah branch of First Citizens Bank in July and took over $13,000.00. He passed a note to the teller claiming to have a bomb.  He was apprehended by Detective Olsen several hours later and most of the cash was recovered.

Detective Olsen testified at our trial.  He was well prepared on the facts and was professional in every respect.  The jury convicted Waters and he received a lengthy NCDAC sentence.

I appreciate the good work of Detective Olsen in this case and want you to know about his work in our trial.  I consider it a personal honor to be affiliated with every member of the HPD.

Best regards,

Greg A. Newman

District Attorney

February 22, 2016

Dear Sir:

On Saturday evening, February 20th, our cat Finnegan got out of the house, unknown to us, with departing guests.

We searched the best we could, in the dark, for an extended period of time.  On Sunday morning we informed the Sheriff's Department of our loss and continued searching.  To our amazement, around 10:30 am, four members of the Hendersonville Police Department found our precious family member.

Although we can't remember all their names, we will be eternally grateful to the officers for his safe return.

Thank you so much for proving once again that the Police are the good guys.


Linda & Orval Bullock

January 14, 2016

Kimberly Carland, Henderson County Toy Run presenting Chief Blake with a check for our Needy Persons Fund.



November 10, 2015

Dear Chief Blake: 

On October 17, 2015, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Blue Ridge Jail Ministries, conducted an outdoor celebration. Coach Eric Gash from Hendersonville High School came and shared his testimony and story while “3000 Souls” played outstanding Christian contemporary music. Church volunteers came, and through their presence ministered to many of our inmates. Those volunteers that could not come in person shared their love through home baked goods that were distributed to the inmates and staff. God was truly glorified this day and His message was shared with those that wanted to participate. 

The Henderson County Detention Center has a responsibility to maintain security within our community by housing inmates placed in our custody. We also feel we have an equally greater responsibility to provide ministry and healing to those that are in need within our facility. We wanted to express our extreme appreciation for you allowing your K-9 Officers, Jennifer Drake and Rob Cantwell, to come and assist our staff with the security details of the event. It is great to know that we have a partnership between our organizations that when we need help we can rely on each other. Your team was impressive to see and very professional in the job that they did. 

Please let us know if we can ever assist you in anyway and we wish you and your agency a time of blessing as the holiday season approaches! 

Thank you and God Bless, 
Charles S. McDonald 
Sheriff, Henderson County 

October 29, 2015

Dear Lt. Letterman and Sgt. Merz, 

It is with an abundance of gratitude that we write this letter of appreciation to you both. Thank you for your professionalism, leadership, and kindness as we dealt with a situation unfamiliar to us earlier in the week. Your calming demeanor put our teachers’ fears at rest and with your guidance and expertise, we were able to get back to what we do best… teaching and caring for the children in our community. 

Thank you for giving us the tools to recognize, identify and handle threatening situations. Thank you for giving us the peace of mind in knowing that the Hendersonville Police Department truly cares about each and every child in our preschool, as well as our teachers and church staff. The time you have spent here helping us to reassure our preschool families that their children’s safety is our top priority is greatly appreciated. We are blessed to have you as a part of “our team.” 

We also want to gratefully acknowledge Lt. Dale Patton, who has spent numerous hours working with church leadership in developing and tightening security measures in our facility. 

Thank you all so much for your service to our community, and especially to our church! 

Very truly yours, 

Fran Rochester 
Director, Creative Beginnings Christian Preschool 

Marlane Reddy 
Office Manager 
Hendersonville Presbyterian Church 

August 5, 2015

Dear Chief of Police, 

I wanted to write a few lines to you to let you know of the great service your officers and Sergeant Brandon McGaha provided to our little community at the south end of Hendersonville. We have had a problem with drug use and drug sales in our little mobile home park for the last couple of months 24/7. At one time there were four different vehicles parked outside this person’s mobile home. It reached a point where the neighbors felt unsafe inside their homes including me. I kept writing down the registrations and descriptions of the vehicles and turning them in and it seemed like nothing was getting done until the other night Sergeant McGaha finally got some results. 

Because of his professional approach he was able to arrest the individual on numerous drug charges and finally put an end to all the traffic coming and going at this residence. No more arguing, fighting, loud conversations at 4:30 in the morning. No more car doors slamming waking us up out of a dead sleep. They were coming in on foot, moped, beat up cars and trucks, they even rode in on bicycle-it just didn’t stop-all the different hours around the clock. 

Sergeant McGaha is superman to us. We have our peace and tranquility back and are once again smiling. Life is good again. Many thanks to your police force including one of your dispatchers named Tiffany who forwarded the information and my phone number to the narcotics officers who called me back to get more information on this individual. 

Thank you so much, 

John Miner 

July 24, 2015

Dear Kathe, 

Thank you ever so much for helping me get my lost bag back. My husband and I feel lucky to live near Hendersonville, a place where the police department will help a person with an ordinary person.

To the Officer who found my bag, (Officer Robert Merz) 
Thank you very much for retrieving my black canvas bag from the area around the Black Rose Public House. I lost it on the sidewalk in that area on Saturday night, July 18. I feel very lucky to get it back. Thank you for your kindness! 

July 10, 2015

Chief Blake,

I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation for the assistance from the Hendersonville Police Department, and for the selfless service displayed by your officers on June 25, 2015 while responding to the armed robbery of First Citizens Bank at 6534 Brevard Road. The officers were instrumental in containing the suspect within the proximity of the last known location, and resulted in the subsequent capture of the suspect and the recovery of the stolen funds.

I would like to recognize the following Hendersonville Police Department employees that assisted with the investigation, capture, and arrest of the suspect and recovery of the stolen moneies: 

Sergeant Brandon McGaha
Detective Nathan Smith
Officer Robert Cantwell and K-9 Maky
Officer Pete Laite
Telecommunications Supervisor Monica Howard

Each of these folks are notable professionals who display exemplary service on a daily basis. These great employees are a credit to your agency, and the law enforcement profession. I am very thankful for the partnership that we share in protecting the citizens of Henderson County.

With great appreciation, 

Charles McDonald
Henderson County Sheriff


July 9, 2015

Chief Blake,

A HUGE Girl Scout Girl Power Thank you to Melissa, Anita, Jennifer and Jon for RAD instruction during Girl Power Day Camp June 2015. The girls loved learning self defense and practicing what they learned! RAD is an Awesome Program! 

Kristen Simonds 

July 9, 2015

Chief Blake, 

We wanted to thank you for taking the time to educate the public on House of Worship Security. We enjoyed the meeting and now have a better understanding on what it will take to keep our church family safe. Times are changing and it is sad to think about the future of our country. We appreciate all that you and the police department are doing for our community. May God bless you and keep you safe. 

Vic and Kathy Pryor 
Hooper’s Creek Baptist Church 

June 10, 2015

Chief Herbert Blake,

     On the morning of June 10, 2015 I was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over and the driver arrested. As I am a recent amputee, the officers were very professional and courteous with me. They took into account my disability and treated me with the utmost respect and professionalism. During The incident one officer went above and beyond the call of duty in helping me Officer Eric LaRowe. Not only was he the utmost professional (all the officers were) but he also went above and beyond. He got me my wheelchair, and made sure I was comfortable. If I had a medal I would award it to him I am still blown away by his actions and treatment of me. Nowadays everyone wants to complain about the bad cops I want you to know about a great one. Because of Officer LaRowe and others like him my faith is secure in the talents and hard work of great peace officers. 

A thank you all,
Juan Santiago II 

June 2, 2015

Hi Chief Blake, 

My name is Sue Ann Hamby. My son is a student at Hendersonville High School. This afternoon my son and I had the pleasure of meeting Lt. Todd Letterman. 

My son had locked his keys in his car. The school resource officer was not available so I contacted Hendersonville Police Department to see if someone could help. Within two or three minutes of my phone call Officer Letterman showed up. 

He was extremely courteous and very pleasant. He put my son and  I at complete ease immediately. It was very nice to actually have some conversation while he worked at opening the car door. 

My son has only had his driver's license for five days. He was so excited about his complete freedom although it was cut short quickly when he couldn't even get into his car. (I thought that was pretty funny.) However, as funny as I might have thought it was, officer Letterman did not make my son feel bad about what he had done. He was just more than glad to help fix our problem. After he got the car door open he even gave my son some helpful tips on things he might want to learn about his vehicle to become more handy with such things. 

I thank you for having such fine people work for your department. Todd Letterman does a fine job representing all of you and I thought you should know that. 

In appreciation, 

Sue Ann Hamby 

May 13, 2015

Dear Chief Blake, 

I just had my fingerprints taken at your department, and was impressed by how quick and easy your staff made the process. Everyone was very helpful, professional, and courteous. This has been typical of my contact with HPD over the years. 

I know right now law enforcement is under the magnifying glass more and more, and there's a culture of not recognizing the good things done daily because "Why thank them, they're just doing the job they signed up for". However it's common to hear praises of waiters who give great service, beauticians who do wonders with hair, contractors who build things well, etc. I also know from experience that support staff within departments are recognized even less frequently, as they're usually behind the scenes. 

So I just wanted to say a quick thank you to you and your staff for making services so accessible and efficient for the public. It doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. Happy National Police Week to you all! 


Laurie Shealy 

April 24, 2015

Dear Officer Jennifer Drake, 

I cannot thank you enough for taking time out of your busy schedule and allowing us the “ultimate privilege” of watching you and your partners train K-9 officers! It was phenomenal, awe inspiring and truly educational. Your dedication, all of you, to your chosen career, coupled with your love of animals, was so apparent in all you did, and we, as citizens, fell blessed to know you “ALL” are our guiding force against crime. 

I look forward to a long, rewarding association with the police, in whatever capacity I am able to best serve. 

Thanks again, Jennifer Drake, and to Brad Woodson, Charlie, the Chief, Kevin and AJ, plus John, hello and thanks. 

Sharon & Sal Militello 

April 6, 2015

Dear Chief Blake, 

I want to express to you and your entire staff my sincere appreciation for the wonderful and inspiring Dedication of the Memorial to Dennie Enevold. This was something that was a long time coming, but was so very appropriate and impressive. 

It meant so much to me, as Dennie’s wife, and particularly all the men and women who were working at the time this tragedy occurred. Perhaps it was meant to be that so much time had passed since his death before the memorial was held. The strong bond is still very evident among those who were working then and went through such trauma together. 

I have been so very impressed by Mike Vesely, Bruce Simonds, and others of the present Police Dept. None of them knew Dennie. They were certainly not working there when his line of duty death occurred, but they have been so committed to doing this Dedication and worked so hard at making it something special, impressive, and meaningful. They were excited to be planning this event and certainly communicated that to me. It took the entire Department to make this happen. I will forever be grateful and am glad that the Memorial stands as a reminder to all Law Enforcement to “be careful out there.” 

The Hendersonville Police Department has always been special to me. I have always received the support and felt the care and concern of the members, particularly as I worked for years before and after Dennie’s death as a Juvenile Probation Officer here in Henderson County. I consider myself an “honorary” member of the Department. 

Again, please communicate to your Department my sincere gratitude for such an inspiring and awesome Dedication ceremony. 


Martha Enevold-Gunter 

March 1, 2015

Hello Chief Blake, 

On Saturday, February 28th - about 11:30 AM, my car 
had a sudden mechanical failure at the intersection of 
Willow and Hebron. 

As I began walking to my home to call a tow, a police officer 
pulled up in his car and offered help. His kindness was 
exceptional ... and beyond my expectation. 
Not only did he manually, by himself, push the car to safety 
in the nearby parking lot, he also offered me the use of his 
personal cell phone to call AAA, a seat inside the warm 
police car (out of the cold), and drove me to my home. 

His actions of kindness, respect, and professionalism were 
"beyond the call of duty". Unfortunately, I did not get his 
name but I do hope you are able to do so and will commend 
him highly. This officer is certainly a credit to your Department! 

Thank you, 
Genny Genevich 
840 Forest St. #8 
Hendersonville, NC 28739 

January 23, 2015

Lt. Vesely and Chief Blake: 

Thank you so much for planning the “Shop With a Cop” event for our students. I know it was meaningful and beneficial to our children and their families. I hope this will become an annual event to foster a strong partnership between law enforcement and the public schools! 

It is a wonderful way to give “good press” to two organizations who do so much for our communities! The rewards to our students are unmatched by other organizations and our children have gained so much in the spirit of giving! Merry Christmas to you and your families and I look forward to working with you in the future. 

Helen Owen 
January 22, 2015
Officer Cory Payne, 

You responded to a call yesterday afternoon that involved my Dad. A vehicle had hit his vehicle and left the scene. I just wanted to thank you for your kindness that was shown to my Dad. He is almost 80 years old and had never been in any kind of accident so he was rather upset when all of this happened. He told me that you treated him respectfully and you were very kind to him. You really helped to calm him and I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate that. I think our Police Department does a fantastic job and I just wanted to say thanks. 

Thank you, 

Terri R. Swann, CZO 
Zoning Enforcement Officer 

January 16, 2015

On behalf of the City of Asheville and the Asheville Police Department, I would like to extend my thanks for your SWAT Teams assistance in serving high risk warrants on January 14th, 2015. 
It was noted by our operators that your team of professionals was very knowledgeable and trained in the appropriate tactics for the mission. This level of professionalism reflects greatly upon the team, as well as the Hendersonville Police Department as a whole. 
Please know that if the situation should ever arise where we can provide similar assistance to your agency, we look forward to the opportunity to do so. 

Chris Reece-Young
Captain, Patrol Operations Division

January 12, 2015

I can not express the depth of my gratitude for the assistance I have received from the Hendersonville Police Department. So many times I have received calls from Communications or a Patrol Officer about a potential problem headed our way. We have called on HPD so many times and the Officers responded without hesitation. The citizens of Hendersonville are fortunate to have such a progressive and professional Police Department. It has been my honor to work with such an outstanding group of 
law enforcement officers. Thank you so much. 

John Dunn 
Director of Security Pardee Hospital 
800 North Justice Street 
Hendersonville, NC 28739